(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group Inc. plans to raise one of the biggest funds to capitalize on the turmoil in debt markets.
The investment firm is looking to raise $7 billion for its fourth GSO credit opportunities fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Blackstone’s new fund will aim to provide capital to performing companies, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
Blackstone spokeswoman Kate Holderness declined to comment.
Blackstone joins a wave of investors looking to provide debt to companies hurt by coronavirus-related shutdowns. Oaktree Capital Group LLC, one of the oldest distressed-debt investors, is trying to raise a record $15 billion, and Carlyle Group Inc. is seeking as much as $3.5 billion for small- and medium-size firms. Blackstone plans to invest in larger companies.
GSO, Blackstone’s credit arm, which has about $129 billion of assets under management, closed its third-capital opportunities fund in 2016 at $6.5 billion. In the first quarter, the unit posted one of its worst-ever declines for its distressed strategies. The new fund targets companies in better financial condition.
The unit, now led by Dwight Scott, is closely watched as one of the largest and most-active debt investors. GSO has gone through a series of transitions in recent years, with its co-founders departing the firm.
Scott has been eyeing safer areas in fixed income, he said in a Bloomberg Television interview in January. He cited difficulties in making money in distressed credit, and said direct lending presents better opportunities.
Blackstone’s ability to directly invest in large firms has allowed it to break into some critical areas during the Covid-19 crisis. Last week, GSO led financing for one of the private equity firm’s biotech deals.
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